Chennai, Kochi play out an entertaining draw

Chennai 5s and Kochi 5s played out a 4-4 draw in a fiesty encounter at the Nehru Indoor Stadium in Chennai.

Chennai's Falcao (centre) in action against Kochi.   -  PTI

From Abhishek Bachchan’s ‘snake dance’ to Sushanth Mathew‘s screamer, Chennai v Kochi matches have a history of being dramatic and fiesty. And the second match of the day proved to be exactly that, as Falcao-led Chennai 5s played out a highly entertaining 4-4 draw against Michel Salgado’s Kochi 5s.

The match began with Chennai taking the attack to Kochi. Falcao looked threatening with a couple of powerful shots drawing saves out of the opposition keeper Casalone. But Kochi hit Chennai on the counter to draw the first blood - in-form Deives Moraes thumping in from short distance. But Chennai did not let the lead grow and Falcao, World Futsal Player of Year on multiple occasions, equallised for the team almost immediately after drawing a mistake from Indian player Mohammad Ameer.

The second quarter saw Chennai dominate the match and snatch a healthy lead. Its marquee signing proved to be the difference once again with a neat turn and finish. Falcao was beginning to look lethal and also produced a moment of magic in the wings when he pulled off a rainbow kick. Chennai’s Indian player Nandha Kumar also impressed with some neat moves and ball control.

Salgado as a player epitomises determination and his team certainly seemed to be taking encouragement from him. Chaguinha, who was Kochi’s star of the match, caught Falcao napping, and rounded off the keeper to score and make the scores level. But Falcao repaid for his mistakes by setting up Cirilo for a simple tap-in to give the team a 3-2 lead heading into the third quarter.

The third quarter started with a bang and free-style champion Sean Garnier produced two superb saves from the Kochi keeper Casalone. Deives hit the post at the other end as the match opened up. Chennai‘s Cirilo scored a fourth from a quick counter-attack and made the scoreline 4-2.

But Chennai’s aggressive strategy backfired as the team conceded five fouls. Deives stepped up and scored the resultant penalty. There was more drama at the end when Chaguinha scored off a breathtaking counter attack to level the scores at 4-4. Both teams played it safe afterwards to settle for a point each.